Category Archives: Appetizers

January, We Hardly Knew Ye

How did January go by so fast? Where does the time go? Where is the Fitbit charging cord (seriously, if anyone knows…).

Not a ton of events hosted during this bleak month. We did have one momentous occasion. Guitar Boy entered the realm of teenager.

Neither Hallmark nor Target carries violent video game cake toppers, you have to make your own. Weird.

January definitely is for comfort food. So it was a big soup month around here. I made Smitten Kitchen’s Ultimate Chicken Soup.

I made Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup from Two Peas and Their Pod.

With Italian Grilled Cheese from Stanley Tucci’s cookbook.

Basically it is fresh mozzarella sliced thin on Italian bread, dipped in a slightly beaten egg and grilled.  I rubbed the bread with a cut garlic clove and added a pinch of salt to the egg mixture. It was gooey and good, but it needed a little somethin’ somethin’. If I did it again, at MBork’s suggestion I would add grated parmesan to the egg dip to give it a frico type of texture.  Or I might make it two cheese with Fontina or another strong but melty cheese. But hey, grilled cheese, no complaining!

Made the easiest Stovetop Mac and Cheese from The Food Lab at Serious Eats.

This was really good. And it heats up well the next day. The only tip I’d offer is don’t add the salt until you taste it. Cheese varies in saltiness. PS, that’s in a clear glass bowl. I don’t just put piles of mac-n-cheese directly on the table. Well, not often.

Drummer Boy advanced to the Battle of the Books semi-finals. They read 7 books in two months. They didn’t win the whole thing but not for lack of preparation. So proud.

Taking a step away from clothespin-on-the-aorta type of recipes, I also made this Detox Salad from Gimme Some Oven.

I didn’t have miso though so I substituted with this Ginger Sesame Dressing from Epicurious. Delicious. Though if you are going to store it in the refrigerator for a day, don’t add the almonds. They get super soggy.

So what food is going to the Superbowly party today? Oh, wait no, it’s Superbowl LI.  My bad.

You know how you are walking through Trader Joe’s and they are handing out samples of food and drink. Fatefully one day I was walking through and they had taken their Pub Cheese and warmed it. Just warmed it. And then put it on pretzel bread. And then handed it to me. And then I ate it. And then my whole family ate it. And now Imma gonna eat it again.

Seriously, all you do is warm it up for 30 seconds or so in the microwave and put it over a warmer and slice the bread. As Ina would say, “how easy is that?”.  Also bringing the always popular and totally low calorie Muffins That Taste Like Donuts from Tasty Kitchen.

And my 90’s classic – Crab Dip.

Old School Crab Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 TBSP mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced (or use 2 cubes of Trader Joe’s crushed, frozen garlic. I heart you Trader Joe’s!)
Hearty pinches of kosher salt and a grind of black pepper
3 green onions minced or 2 TBSP of finely minced white onion
6 oz crab meat (canned or refrigerated, but fully cooked)

Combine the everything except the onion and crab meat in a bowl. Blend with a hand mixer until smooth. Stir in the crab meat and onion with a rubber spatula until fully combined. Put it into serving bowl, cover and chill at least an hour.

And so we’re off to enjoy the commercials big game. Have a great week everyone!


For Auld Lang Syne, For Sure

Happy 2017 everyone. I’ve de-Christmased the house in preparation for an organizing binge. More on that later.

Was going to make a bunch of appetizers for New Year’s Eve, but apparently while I was sleeping there was a run on mini-pita breads and red pepper jelly so Imma gonna just bookmark this recipe for chicken salad pitas right here for next time.

Did make these tidbits though.  Easy and can be served warm or at room temperature.

Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Caramelized Onions and Horseradish Cream Sauce

For the beef:
2-3 lb. beef tenderloin roast
2 tsp kosher salt
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

For the onions:
1 medium size yellow onion
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP unsalted butter
pinch of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper

For the cream sauce:
1/2 cup lite sour cream
1 TBSP prepared horseradish
1 TBSP pink peppercorns, crushed or ground

1 long French baguette, sliced into thin rounds.

The day before you cook it, place beef on a rack on cookie sheet. Coat the beef with the salt and place uncovered in a refrigerator overnight (gotta trust me here).

The next day, take beef out of refrigerator about 1 hour before you are ready to cook.  Heat oven to 425ºF. Rub beef with the 1 TBSP of olive oil and place back on the rack on cookie sheet. Roast about 30 minutes or until the meat temperature reaches 135ºF (that’s my version of medium rare).  Remove from oven and let rest.

While the beef roasts, prepare onions.  Slice onion into thin slices.  Melt butter and oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until onions are fully caramelized, about 20 more minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF. Place slices of baguette on a different baking sheet and toast rounds for about 10-15 minutes.

Combine sour cream, horseradish and a pinch of the ground pepper in a small bowl and refrigerate until needed.

When ready to assemble, thinly slice the beef (an electric knife is a useful thing here). Place a smidge of onions on each toast, top with a slice of beef, a dollop of the cream and sprinkle with some ground pink pepper.  If you had fresh parsley around, you could also chop that finely and sprinkle on for some color.

Here’s a quick recap of Plaid Christmases.

Kids table

Blurry grown-up table

The gang from Plaid Christmas One


Made a new cocktail that was a hit, even with the Manhattan die hards. #diehardisachristmasmovie.  It’s call Santa’s Little Helper from blogger Aunt Peaches.

All you do is soak two cinnamon sticks and a bunch of whole cranberries in good bourbon overnight. Note – Aunt Peaches uses cloves. I’m not a fan, I think they overpower. Make your own call, I’m not the boss of you!  The next day, fill a glass with ice.  Pour in three parts infused bourbon, one part triple sec, and fill the glass with Sprite or even diet Sierra Mist. Garnish with the cranberries from the bourbon.

Onward folks.  We saw 2016 off in style, at the Harrison’s last Illinois-based NYE bash before they take the party back to the land of Oz.

There were lots of laughs and many tears.  We will miss these people with all our hearts.

But not their Vegemite.

A cup o’ kindness to you all and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2017.


October Surprises

This has been a cooking marathon.  Contests, a bake sale for charity, Halloween 1, 2 and 3. I’m exhausted. What’s that? I need to start planning Thanksgiving. After I nap.

First, Soup-A-Palooza. A refined competition between members of the Legal Department where each day, for THREE WEEKS, a person brings in a homemade soup for everyone to eat. And then we select a tribute for each soup and have them fight to the death. Well not exactly, we vote. My soup tied in my week. I will leave you in suspense as to whether I accept the results of the upcoming tie-breaking election.

I made Smitten Kitchen’s Cream of Tomato Soup.  The only thing I did differently is reduced brandy to 1 TBSP and used vegetable stock to make it vegetarian. Honestly, I’ve done it both ways and it was better with the vegetable stock.  Also, to make enough for the whole department, I had to make four batches. I don’t need no stinkin’ batches (name the movie).


On the side were cheesy croutons and basil. Just toss bread cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder and bake at 375 until crispy (about 10-15 minutes) and then finely grate some white cheddar and gruyere cheese over the warm croutons.

Then we had the first Halloween outing for Al’s 8th birthday.  Here’s the crew


I made S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from How Sweet Eats and Pumpkin Bread in the Williams & Sonoma Fall Cakelet Pan.


Click the How Sweet Eats link for the s’mores cookies, but here’s my super secret pumpkin bread recipe. Ready?


Yep. I’ve roasted and pureed and seasoned pumpkin to make bread. To which I get “yuck”. But Trader Joe’s mix – beloved. See, even I give up sometimes.

Next up was the charity bake sale at work for Bright Pink.  Made more pumpkin bread and these Browniest Cookies from Smitten Kitchen.



We raised $2,700 for breast cancer research. Here’s the spread. This Legal department can bake!bakesale

Next up was Halloween 2 – Pizza Night (you thought I was going to say “the return of Michael Myers”. Nope, just pizza night).

Lt. Dan was a creepy clown before creepy clowns were cool.


The Mother of Dragons stopped by as well as cats and sports fans.


And Ron Swanson.

dsc_0274The quote on the cup is “You have accidentally given me the food my food eats”, one of our favorites. No disrespect Salad!   The gang was ready for some drinks and spooky treats from Mbork.



And Jen from Pastries So Tasty made these awesome cakes.


I made this smoked salmon terrine.


Smoked Salmon Terrine
inspired by this recipe from Bon Appetit

8 oz nova lox
6 oz cream cheese
4 oz goat cheese
2 tsp lemon zest
1 TBSP horseradish
2 radishes finely minced
1/2 cup finely minced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Line a six inch diameter ramekin (or any other flat sided dish or cake mold) with plastic wrap bringing it up the sides.  Blend the cream cheese, goat cheese, lemon zest and horeseradish with a hand mixer until smooth.  In another bowl mix the onions and radishes.   Flake the lox with a fork and make an even layer on the bottom of the ramekin, covering it completely using about a third of the salmon. Dollop half of the cream cheese mixture and spread it gently but evenly (an offset spatula works well here).  Sprinkle half the onion/radish mixture on top, pressing gently on them so they stick. Repeat the layers but then end with a salmon layer.  Cover with plastic wrap and press down gently on the whole thing.  Chill for at least an hour.  Serve by taking the plastic off the top and inverting on to a scary skeleton platter, then carefully peel the plastic off.  Top with the fresh dill.  Serve with bagel chips and party rye.

And then finally on to actual Halloween.  Where we never got a picture of the boys together because Guitar Boy had stage crew until 5 and then went trick or treating with his friends.  So please enjoy this picture of Drummer Boy as Bigfoot with his friend as…well, you be the judge.



Oh, and one more thing.

CUBS WIN CUBS WIN CUBS WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you haven’t seen it, go watch this Budweiser commercial.  Grab a tissue before you do.

Working on practice Thanksgiving tomorrow. Didn’t everyone spend their Friday night dehydrating Craisins?  Yes, I do know how cool I am.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Warm Weather Appetizers But Not Hot Weather, Because Gross

Our neighbors (with babies** – yay!) invited everyone down for a last minute “just because” appetizer and dessert party. I took stock of what was in the fridge and took my cookbook collection to tell me what to make.


Can’t go wrong with Ina Garten at the Barefoot Contessa.  You can assume that because as you can see on the right, I have 6 of her books. But they have literally never failed me. (P.S I’m lying about this collection – there is another set of shelves full of cookbooks. And two binders worth of ripped out magazine recipes. OK..four binders.  OK.. four binders sorted by meal course and color coded. Sigh.)

I went with her Roasted Shrimp Cocktail.  However, I took the suggestion of “Robert Y” in the comments on the same recipe at the Food Network site and brined the shrimp, tossed in olive oil and Old Bay seasoning and preheated the pans so the undersides cooked without having to flip a bunch of shrimp – genius!.  Turned out great. In fact, I’d urge you to make this sauce instead of picking up a jar the next time you need a seafood sauce. It is easy-peasy and the taste if soooooo much better than jarred.


But I had cherries and nothing in my bajillion books was inspiring me.  To the internet!!  I decided on a sweet/savory Cherry Crostini two ways.  I adapted it from Bon Appetit’s Savory Cherry Crostini recipe and Heather Christo’s Roasted Cherry Crostini.


Cherry Crostini

2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
3 cups pitted, halved cherries (I used Yellow Rainer)
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
pinch of salt and pepper
pinch of sugar
log of goat cheese
best ricotta you can find
balsamic glaze (I used this one from Trader Joe’s)
extra thyme leaves
sea salt
skinny baguette, sliced and toasted

Heat the olive oil in a saute or frying pan over medium heat.  Once hot, add the cherries, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper.  Saute until soft and just beginning to brown (3-5 minutes) but not completely mush, you want them to look like cherries.  Remove from heat and cool. I actually put it in the refrigerator for use later.

When ready to go to, spread some of either the goat cheese or the ricotta on the toasted baguette slices. Top the goat cheese one with a spoonful of cherry mixture, a sprinkle of additional thyme leaves and pinch of sea salt.  Top the ricotta one with the cherry mixture and drizzle just the tiniest bit of balsamic glaze over top.

**By the way, to me babies = anyone still talking in a tiny voice. So thanks for the party, guys!


Have a lovely week everyone.

The Night is Dark and Full of Appetizers

If I have to wear football gear, you can be sure I’m gonna nerd it up, Game of Thrones style.

For today’s festivities, I supported the Broncos because their colors are the same as the Bears. And I have orange shoes already, so…allegiance formed!


Most of the people I follow on Instagram are food bloggers and you can tell everyone was getting ready for the Super Bowl yesterday because there were hardly any posts all day. And this morning – BAM – wings, dips, treats galore. Here’s what I chose to make:

Things We Dipped in Chocolate.  Recipe:  Melt chocolate, dip various things in it.


But, BUT, you need to make these Potato Chip Cookies from Smitten Kitchen first.


They are delicious, lightly sweet and salty. The only thing I did different was that I omitted the added salt (because I used Ruffles not Cape Cod chips) and I used another 1/2 cup of crushed potato chips in lieu of pecans. Because Drummer Boy helped and if he saw the nuts go in he never would even try them. He’s not a guy who likes sweets, so he immediately asked for…


Chex Mix for dessert. I just use the back of the box recipe except that I add an extra two tablespoons butter. And this time we didn’t use wheat Chex because they just burn, everyone leaves them behind anyway in a puddle of sadness. So we doubled the Cheerios and pretzels.  But if you could find good gluten free pretzels, without the wheat Chex it would be gluten free.

On the healthier-ish side, we have this Greek Spinach and Kale Dip from How Sweet It Is. Made it the day before so flavors could meld. I reduced the kale to 1/2 cup because it was looking uncomfortably green.


And finally, Pepperoni Pizza Rolls from Two Peas and Their Pod. Dough and I have a complicated relationship (in that Dough hates me) so I just used Pillsbury pizza dough in a can. Big hit.


I’d like to pretend that’s my manicure, but my stubby nails could never support what MichCC can handle.

This is how 2016 children watch the Super Bowl. By ignoring it and playing games on their own devices. Left to my own devices, I probably would (name that band). Never mind, no one is going to remember. It was Pet Shop Boys.


Wide retriever. Heh.


Have a great week everyone.

Happy Birthday Dodd-Frank Act!

You share a birthday with my husband. However, Dodd-Frank, so far you have not shown me how you are useful or done anything to impress me. So you, Dodd-Frank, do not get a custom can koozie. Kevin, on the other hand, has done all that and more. So he gets one for his birthday:


Step up your game, Dodd-Frank.

My friend receives a monthly box of fair trade food/ingredients, similar to the Hatchery box I get. We’ll call her Mbork to protect her identity. She wasn’t sure what to do with the California peach vinegar she received and Jbork agreed. So they dropped it off over here. Challenge accepted!

20150718_090045What, what?!  That’s right, first up is Pineapple Salsa


1.5 lb fresh pineapple, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups diced)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
1 cup finely diced red pepper
4 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 TBSP peach vinegar
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cumin

Whisk last 5 ingredients in a bowl. Add first 5 ingredients and stir. Cover and let chill at least 2 hours for flavors to meld. Serve with tortilla chips when you get to a 9 year old’s birthday party




Or save it as a topping for grilled fish.

What’s that you say? Big deal, so the bottle is missing about two tablespoons worth of vinegar?  Not going to concede? Alllllrighty then.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Peach Vinegar Dressing

4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP peach vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 heirloom tomatoes
2 TBSP sliced basil
1 ball burrata or mozzarella cheese

Combine first 4 ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine. Slice tomatoes and place on platter. Slice cheese and place under tomatoes (if burrata – cuz it’s messy) or on top of tomatoes (if mozzarella). Drizzle dressing over and scatter basil on top.


Had enough?! No? Prepare your face.

Pork Tenderloin with Peach and Ginger Sauce
adapted from Epicurious‘ recipe

1 TBSP canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
6 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
3/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup PEACH VINEGAR (Bam!)
2 TBSP minced or chopped ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 16 oz pork tenderloin
12 slices frozen peaches, thawed.

Heat vegetable oil in a pot on medium heat. Add onions and sugar and sauté until only slightly golden brown. Add remaining ingredients up to pepper and boil 2 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and cool. Once cool, add about a cup of the sauce to the pork tenderloins in a gallon size bag and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Store remaining sauce in refrigerator.

When ready, heat grill to medium. Remove pork from marinade and grill until done. “Done” is a subject of intense debate here at Lucky Rhino headquarters. Some members would defer to the USDA which lowered the pork safety temperature to 145 degrees with 3 minutes of resting time. Others of us feel that we aren’t going to be tricked by some shadowy government agency who is likely trying to grow a tapeworm army with humans as hosts and insist there not even be a hint of pink. Thus, 155 and 10 minutes of rest time it is.

Anyhoo, boil remaining sauce (don’t use the marinade) until reduced by half, about 5 minutes or so. Add the peaches and cook another two minutes. Slice pork and serve sauce over pork.

Sorry, pork simply doesn’t photograph well.

And, since today is National Ice Cream Day (yep!) I also made this S’mores Ice Cream Pie from Two Peas and Their Pod. Don’t worry, I didn’t put vinegar in it.


The only thing I changed, albeit inadvertently, is that I forgot to mix the cracker crumbs into the ice cream, but I don’t think anyone noticed.


And I also drizzled the top with Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Because, why not?

And of course, then we went next door to Fake Sister’s house to make actual s’mores. Because, why not?


Have a great week everyone.

Long Weekend Lookback

So it went like this. Pizza Night, soccer game, soccer game, a Communion Party for the Second Set at our house, birthday party, epic clean of Guitar Boy’s room, BBQ, epic clean of Drummer Boy’s room and Birthday BBQ. Yes, that’s right, it was only a three day weekend, but we shoved five days of living into it.

Not much in the way of original cooking as the Communion party was an empanadas and make-your-own-nachos bar. But we did enjoy this new twist on sangria from Foodie With Family: Cider Sangria.


However, with over 50 people at the house, I couldn’t make individual drinks for everyone so I converted Foodie’s recipe into a punch-like drink. Just fished the popsicle sticks out of the punch bowl. I know, fancy indeed.

I also made my standard sangria recipe.

Basic Sangria

One orange, sliced and cut into quarters
One lime, sliced and cut into quarters
10 green grapes, halved
One apple, cored and chopped
1/4 cup brandy (the mini airplane bottles are about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup orange peach mango juice (or sub whatever fun juice you have)
1 TBSP sugar
1 bottle red wine
8 oz club soda or lemon-lime soda (depending on how sweet you like it – I used 3:1 club soda to Sprite)

Combine all the fruit, brandy, orange juice, sugar and wine in a pitcher and stir. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, add the club soda or soda. Serve over ice.

Also made Two Peas and Their Pod’s Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake for the gluten free in our lives, though a nacho bar is pretty gluten free.


New favorite thing. Honey on the cheese tray. Dip cheese (or bread with cheese, or grape with cheese) in raw honey. Urf, it is so good.


Some flowers:


The Communicants (not their band name):


A cookie cake (you stay classy San Diego):


Once Communion starts, Communion don’t stop for no volleyball game:


Epic cleaning of Drummer Boy’s room. Before:


During the closet phase #nothelpful


After (still needs to be painted and sports pictures hung, but a work in progress):


Made Blogging Over Thyme’s Everything Bagel Cheese Twists for the birthday barbecue:


Happy birthday Baker Boy. He makes the best desserts.


Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend and thanks to all who have served.

Now, back to work everyone!  But first, season premiere of American Ninja Warrior.  Wooooooo!

Welcome to Middle Christmas

So here we are midway through the festivities, with Neighborhood Pizza Night and McNamara Christmas behind us. Let’s review, shall we?

Neighborhood Pizza Night was a fine time with many food gifts made.  I made this Sriracha Salt, Middendorfs made all sorts of chocolate bark, Madly Pop’n sent Chicago Mix popcorn and the Coluntuano’s gave everyone their famous hand made tomato sauce so we have something to look forward to.  I had planned to serve this Cake Batter Chocolate Bark from How Sweet It Is, but by the time I got home from work on Friday, this is all that was left:


Looking at you, Guitar Boy!

Fortunately, our neighbors from Pastries So Tasty make cake pops!


For the record, Baker Boy made lots and lots of cake pops, but by the time I could clear the children out to get a picture, this is what was left!

And they also did this with a Christmas wine topper.  Cute!


Every year since we’ve moved here, which is also the year we acquired a digital SLR camera in an attempt to capture ANY picture of baby Drummer Boy smiling, we have created The Block book of pictures through the year.  It forces us to actually create a yearly photo book and it makes a nice gift for the neighbors. Here is the 2014 edition on top of all the others:


Speaking of gifts, in honor of this here blog, the Borkowskis gave us these awesome lucky rhino bookends.   And a gift card to TJ Maxx.   Borkowskis are enablers.


In other gift news, when you make a joke saying the boys’ band should be called Turkey’s Furcula and you have a friend like John with immense creativity (see Fake Sister’s costume in Halloween posts), a touch of OCD and a love of music, you get this from the Rehors:


That’s right, Furcula concert t-shirts.  For the whole family.  Here’s the back:


Turkey’s Furcula, with the special guest, The Cranberries.  Oh wait, such a gift would’t be complete without an magazine cover (bonus Furcula poster inside!):


In the end, all 34 people had a lovely time, and Kevin ordered…


…just the right amount of pizza.

Next day was McNamara Christmas.  At the last minute (since Thursday I was flying from LaGuardia to Chicago, so it was anyone’s guess whether I’d be home by Saturday) I made this Smoked Salmon Dip from thekitchn.  It was yummy and it tastes great with Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Chips.

The boys went with ugly Christmas sweater theme for Mac Christmas:


And here is the whole crew:


it was basically your standard McNamara Christmas, with Irish dancing demonstrations, the cousins grab bag, and the children gathered around:


one kid playing Minecraft on an iPhone, while the rest of the family gathered around the traditional…


Danimals tree.  Yep, your basic Christmas celebration.

I hope you’ve all made a dent in your shopping and will have time to relax and enjoy the rest of the month  I just finished making the 5th batch of Chex Mix to create teacher gifts today, will move on to cookies next weekend.

Happy Middle Christmas everyone.

Welcome to October

Well, it’s official. I have more Halloween storage bins than Christmas storage bins (and I have a loooooot of Christmas storage bins). So it only took 2 days to get all the Halloween stuff up with help from my 10 and 8 year-old Halloween gravestone-placement consultants. I wanted to share some of my favorite décor items.

These are my new platters. I love, love, love them. I would marry them, but I don’t think they could get all the Halloween bins down from the attic with the efficiency that Kevin can. They are from Cost Plus World Market online:


Hello gorgeous! From TJ Maxx/HomeGoods:


Candles from Martha Stewart for Grandinroad a few years ago.  Ghostie and pumpkin from TJ Maxx/HomeGoods:


Nosferatu painting in the bathroom – from Ebay, can’t read the artist’s name very well anymore, looks like it says Renee Backer:


Pillows for the kitchen table bench from TJ Maxx/HomeGoods (are you sensing a theme here?): image

My favorite Halloween picture of Guitar Boy and Fake Sister (they were 4 & 5).  Frame from TJ Maxx/HomeGoods:


My favorite Halloween picture of Drummer Boy.  Frame from Kohls:


 Here’s what the outside of the house looks like during the day:


And at night:


Soooo, it’s pretty clear that I have a TJ Maxx/HomeGoods “problem” that needs to be confronted.

Moving on.

What food is being made to celebrate this magical season you may ask?   Well, it depends.  Are we talking about the 9th Avenue Halloween Block Party?  Allison’s Costume-Mandatory 6th Birthday Party?  The High School/College/Old Friends We Never See Halloween Pizza Night Open House?  Or are we talking about actual Halloween (on a Friday – woot!)?  It is a crowded Field Notes party planner, that’s for sure.

Food on deck:

Crack Dip with Tomatoes from

(see picture from prior post)

White Pizza Dip from Howsweeteats (my newest blog obsession)

Apple Cider Sangria from Howsweeteats (see above)

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies from The Pioneer Woman  (who is now designing her own line of cookware – jealous!)

Candied Pumpkin Seeds from Healthygreenkitchen

Cheddar Chive Cheese Pumpkin from Jamhands

Creamy Tomato Soup from Howsweeteats (really, I need to stop bothering this woman).

And in case you were wondering, Guitar Boy will be going to various parties as a crypt keeper/angel of death (need to get multiple uses out of our scythe!) and trick or treating as Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy. Drummer Boy will be a faceless specter at the parties and the 10th Doctor Who for Halloween.   Because out here, one costume is simply not enough.

Where could these kids get their sense of Halloween excess from?  I wonder.

Happy Halloween everyone!